Children's ESL, EFL- flashcards, worksheets, wordsearches, crosswords, glossary,





Glossary of ESL terms


 Home |  Crosswords |   Word Searches   |   Flash Cards   |  Verbs   |  Songs   |  Creative Writing   |   Work Sheets  |  Phonics    ABCs   Survival English | Business ESL |  ESL for Adults  |  ESL Articles |  Lesson Plans  |   Holiday Worksheet  | ESL Jobs 










 Survival Travel English: A basic course in EFL for travelers.

Going to Restaurants

A Role-play for Ordering Food


Time: 1 hour


The purpose of this lesson is to give false beginners the skills to order food in a restaurant.

This lesson follows a simple format of an introduction and discussion, followed by a role-play activity.


The teacher will need to print off and photocopy four sheets: restaurant menus, the waiters' activity sheet, the customers' activity sheet, and the role-play prompts.


Tell the students that they will be ordering food from restaurants today. Invite one student up to the front and give the student a menu. After the student has had a short time to look at the menu, say,"May I take your order?"

Usually, the student will say something very basic, "Hamburger." If this is the case,  I walk to my pretend kitchen, cook up a pretend hamburger, and when I am done, pretend to spit in it. The class will usually laugh and the student who ordered it may be surprised.

If the student gives a more sophisticated answer, then I write it on the board and then we begin to discuss other ways of ordering food.


The purpose of the above demonstration is a lesson in pragmatic competence. Just barking out orders can be perceived as being rude and may have real consequences. After the student sits back down, I ask the class why I spit in the student's imaginary hamburger.

As a class we briefly discuss ways to order food: I'll have a hamburger, please. I'd like the seafood spaghetti. Then we go over other aspects of the conversation to the right.

Role-play Activity:

Now, comes the real focus of the class: a role-play activity to practice ordering food.. Divide the class into three: one third of the class will begome restaurant waiters and the other two thirds will partner up and go around to the various restaurants and order food.

The waiters should receive their 'Special of the Day' prompt cards and their activity sheet. As customers visit their restaurants, waiters have to write down the orders on their activity sheets. Likewise, the customers write down what they ordered on the customer activity sheets.

Now, if you want to throw in an unscripted wrench into the works, you can hand out the complaint cards to the customers and see how both customers and waiters react. You can also instruct a few waiters to be rude and insulting on purpose.

There are also these optional support materials:

Restaurant Cloze Activity

Restaurant Crossword

Restaurant and Food Survey Activtity plus Survey Action Sheet

Back to Survival English!


 Target Language:

Waiter: Welcome to Antico's. Here are your menus. Today's special is grilled salmon. I'll be back to take your order in a minute.

. . .

Waiter: Are you ready to order?

Customer 1: I'd like the seafood spaghetti.

Waiter: And you?

Customer 2: I'll have a hamburger and fries.

Waiter: Would you like anything to drink?

Customer 1: I'll have a coke, please.

Waiter: And for you?

Customer 2: Just water, please.

Waiter: OK. So that's one seafood spaghetti, one hamburger and fries, one coke, and one water. I'll take your menus.

. . .

Waiter: Here is your food. Enjoy your meal.

. . .

Waiter: How was everything?

Customers 2: Delicious, thanks.

Waiter: Would you like anything for dessert?

Customer 1: No, just the bill please.